Bend, Ore., was hammered by the Great Recession as unemployment peaked at 17.2% in March 2009. Home prices fell more than 50% from their 2006 highs and new construction ground to a halt. Residents coined the phrase “poverty with a view” for the picturesque Central Oregon locale.
But the Bend metro has come roaring back with the top job growth rate in the country last year at 6.6%. The five-year annual rate of 3.8% also ranks among the highest in the U.S. Bend companies enjoy business costs that are 22% below the national average and its high share of educated millennials ranks among the top 10% of smaller metros. Add in a strong economic and employment outlook and Bend ranks No. 1—up three spots—on Forbes’ annual look at the Best Small Places for Business and Careers. (more)